CONCORD, N.H. — A bill to end marijuana prohibition and regulate cannabis for adult use in New Hampshire passed in the state House of Representatives Wednesday with a strong majority (209-147). HB 481 will now be referred to the House Ways and Means Committee for further consideration of the proposed regulatory system and tax structure. A summary of HB 481 is available at http://bit.ly/NH-HB481.
Granite State polls conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center have repeatedly shown a strong majority of New Hampshire residents support legalizing cannabis. Four consecutive polls found at least 60 percent support for legalization, and its most recent poll on the subject, which was conducted in February 2018, found more than two-to-one support for legislation considered last year that would have legalized possession and limited home cultivation without regulating production and sales. Only 25 percent of residents said they were opposed.
Nine states have enacted laws regulating and taxing cannabis for adult use. In addition, Vermont and Washington, D.C. have enacted laws making possession and cultivation legal for adults, and their governments are now considering proposals to regulate commercial production and sales.
Statement from Matt Simon, New England Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project:
“The House vote highlights just how little support remains for maintaining marijuana prohibition in the Granite State. Most New Hampshire residents agree it is time to legalize and regulate cannabis. There is no reason to continue punishing adults for consuming a substance that is less harmful than alcohol, and it is counterproductive to force them into a potentially dangerous illegal market to access it.
“Cannabis prohibition has been just as big of a failure as alcohol prohibition, causing many of the same problems. It ensures cannabis remains entirely uncontrolled and that all of the revenue from its sale goes into the pockets of criminals. HB 481 offers New Hampshire a sensible alternative, and we will continue working to build support for the bill in the House as it is considered by the Ways and Means Committee.”